Couples & Money: Reconciling Differences

There was a good piece in this month’s edition of Financial Advisor magazine written by Roy Diliberto about couples and how they deal with money. It’s no secret that an inability to discuss and understand attitudes about money causes many relationships to ultimately fall apart. The reason has nothing to do with the inherent property of money which is simply an object which helps us obtain things and acts as an exchange agent for goods and services. The more important focus is on one’s personal relationship with money, often dating back to their childhoods. Think about yourself for a minute—how was money introduced to you as a child and how have those attitudes and feelings shaped your relationship with money today? The classic example would be depression era parents who watched much of their savings disappear in the 1930’s. That sort of experience lasts a lifetime and more than likely impacts the way future generations are raised. If you grew up watching your Dad stash cash under the mattress and perhaps make you feel guilty about spending, you may pass some of those qualities down to your kids. However, if you grew up in a financially comfortable surrounding you may have been taught not to focus or discuss money, rather to focus on personal enrichment and building strong relationships with your peers. Perhaps money then becomes more of an afterthought for you and not on the forefront of your mind. Neither attitude is right or wrong: just different. The problems arise when these childhood experiences aren’t properly disclosed or discussed with those who matter.

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How Many Financial Advisors does one Need?

Have you ever pondered how many financial professionals you need? I ask because I know that about 1/3rd of my clients work with me and at least one other advisor. Naturally I feel a little competitive and want to know that I’m the ‘lead’ advisor or primary advisory in terms of giving investment advice and financial planning recommendations. More importantly, I want to make sure my clients aren’t doing themselves a disservice by having multiple advisors who don’t communicate with each other. This has me wondering how necessary it is to have multiple advisors. If you do, in what ways are you adding value, and are you perhaps decreasing the likelihood of reaching your longer-term financial goals?

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